Jeff Ruane

The End of Social Media

Twitter has been really bad recently. That not news, but aside from the myriad of other issues, it's no longer useful as a tool for interacting with a personalized social network. Specifically in the last few weeks, I get much, much fewer people commenting on my tweets or replying to my comments, even for high effort posts that used to spark a conversation with mutuals.

The bots with sketchy links in their bios that spam "likes" on everything have gotten significantly worse in the past week or two as well. One of my tweets yesterday got 15 likes, and not a single one was human. So, notifications are completely useless now.

Anyway, I took a photo yesterday that I liked. Since Twitter's a shithole, I shared it on Bluesky instead for the first time in a few months. Maybe it's finally time for me to migrate.

The photo in question

After I posted that, I got a few new followers, which appear to be bots as best I can tell. One of them DMed me with vague, aimless, shit like "how are you" and "I'm here in case twitter goes down, how about you?" That profile had 6 posts, all of which were some self-help motivational meme nonsense.

Ok, so Bluesky might have a weird AI bots that DMs you weird shit. Back to Twitter. I immediate see that Bill Walton has passed away (RIP, Bill). So I start following the conversation, clicking on reply threads, etc.

I quickly found out that all of the human conversation is completely drown out by blue check "verified" bots that are boosted to the top of every thread and sub thread. What, pray tell, do these bots want? They're on the memorial t-shirt grift, of course. Within hours of the news coming out, there are bots advertising t-shirts with Bill Walton's face on it. "So sad 😢. Get your t-shirts here 😢"

Blue check bots on twitter pulling the memorial t shirt scam hours after bill walton passed away

Social media is completely broken, and its now just bots talking to bots trying to convince each other they're not bots. It's a bummer, Twitter actually did some good in my life. I met some new friends, I joined DSA because of folks I met on Twitter. It gave me a way to start to be social again after the pandemic broke my brain. There's nowhere to migrate to, so I guess I need to figure out how to exist in physical public places again.

#internet #personal #writing